This week’s theme or prompt from Amy Johnson Crow’s #52Ancestors series, is “Bachelor Uncle.”
Probably, I can find someone to fit this prompt in just about every generation in my pedigree. But the one who makes the most sense is my own uncle Laurence. I didn’t know him very well. My dad moved away from his family when he grew up, and I only visited them a handful of times in my entire life. Maybe it had something to do with what my aunt called “the L— [our surname] curse.”
“What is the L— curse?” I asked her.
“Not being able to get along with anyone,” she said.
She wrote this little memoir about her brother Laurence:
Laurence, God rest his soul, was a very likeable guy. Its to bad his first and only marriage failed within a couple of years. He was still adored by his in-laws and they remembered him till his last days. I use to antagonize him when we were little kids. He never called me by my name. When he wanted me, he would open and shut his dresser drawers knowing I would come in to see what he was doing. If he didn’t want me in his room, he would try to drag me out. I would grab hold of his bed and he would pull the bed and me to the door. I always was one foot ahead of him when he chased me through the house. I would slam the bathroom door in his face and lock it. He had a temper when he was little. I remember hitting him in the face with a snowball once. He about killed me.
While my dad left town after his service in the military, Lawrence stayed around and got a job at the same paint and body shop where their father worked. Dad stayed in the army until he retired, but Laurence served in the Navy only until WW2 was over. He was also an Arthur Murray dance instructor, I heard. He continued to live at home with his mother and sister until he died of leukemia, just shy of age 60. My aunt said,
In later years we became close after his stroke and cancer. He died to young. I’m glad I was there for him.